Adolescence and youth is a vulnerable period for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), with many experiencing poor blood glucose control. We also know that racial/ethnic minority young adults have poorer diabetes outcomes compared to non-Hispanic whites; however, little is known about why this is the case for young people. Researchers recently asked 3,456 people aged 18-25 years with T1D to examine racial/ethnic differences in self-management behaviors and their association with blood glucose control. The researchers found that, compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans and Hispanics less frequently took an insulin bolus for snacks, less frequently checked blood glucose with a meter, and were less likely to use insulin to carbohydrate ratios. African Americans also more frequently missed insulin doses. The researchers concluded that checking blood glucose and taking insulin doses as needed may be important to address racial disparities in outcomes for young people with T1D. Future research should evaluate possible social and contextual factors contributing to low engagement in these behaviors to inform strategies to address racial differences in diabetes outcomes.
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